H&M takes stake in payments company Klarna

H&M Group has taken a stake in fast-growing payments company Klarna in addition to making a commitment to introducing the firm's technology across its retail estate.

The retailer announced the move this morning (Monday 8 October), with CEO Karl-Johan Persson saying the group had been impressed with what Klarna has achieved to date and suggesting they plan to work together in several ways to improve customer experiences.

No official statement was made on the equity stake H&M has taken in Klarna, but people close to the deal reportedly told the Financial Times that it was less than 1%.

Daniel Claesson, head of business development at H&M, commented: "We want to make it possible for customers to move freely between the various channels and choose how they want to shop and experience our offering online and in-store.

“This partnership will bring tailor-made payment solutions to our customers and accommodate evolving shopping patterns and needs. This includes the possibility to "try before you buy" which is very relevant to online fashion retail today and to pay with their mobile phone directly through the H&M app both in-store and online."

The partnership will also link in with H&M's digital loyalty scheme, and have an effect across 14 markets in which the retailer operates. The roll-out of Klarna technology will take place initially in the UK and Sweden, before being introduced more widely in due course.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski, CEO and co-founder of Klarna, remarked: "Customers will no longer be forgiving of unnecessary complexity or when their retail experience does not leverage the insight available to make their engagement smart, personal and easy.

“This partnership is rooted in a shared obsession about just how good that shopping experience should be. Together we have worked hard on developing a unique solution for in-store and online that will delight customers, drive economic value and build loyalty."

Klarna has made a raft of announcements in recent months, with its technology being used by the likes of Moss Bros, Watchshop.com, and The Fragrance Shop.